Man Utd sent stark ‘plaything’ warning by Brendan Rodgers

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has sent a warning to Manchester United over the potential of becoming a ‘plaything’ amid their takeover bid from Qatar. Following Friday’s ‘soft deadline’ for interested parties to express their interest in buying the club from the Glazers, it was confirmed that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks, was among those to have made an offer.

United supporters are desperate for their club to have a change in ownership, with the Glazers hugely unpopular among the fanbase. But speaking ahead of his side’s game against the Red Devils on Sunday, Rodgers insisted the grass may not necessarily be greener on the other side.

“When you go back, it used to be the richest guy in the city who owned his local club and it was a great honour for him,” he said. “Those times have changed. It’s becoming increasingly difficult. For the likes of ourselves, money can distort reality, and I think it’s important the governance of the game is looked after.

“With that, I mean keeping the playing field as equal as we possibly can – otherwise it will become a top four or then a top six or seven.”

With the likes of Chelsea and Newcastle also having big-money takeovers in recent weeks, and Tottenham also linked with one, it seems that Premier League clubs are the fashionable purchase at the moment. But Rodgers appears worried that some of the soul of these proud old institutions may be sucked out if investment continues the way it has been doing.

He continued: “It’s a really competitive league, it’s amazing to be involved in – there are so many challenges tactically and qualitatively – but at the same time you don’t want any club to be a plaything. Football in this country means everything. It does to a lot of people around the world but I only tell from here in Britain that it really does mean everything.

“We all are only custodians for the clubs. To look after them for the supporters. That’s what I’ve always felt is important. If people come in with finance, that’s absolutely fine. It has to be for the right reasons, though.

“If I look at our ownership here. Yes, they are a very wealthy family but the fans are at the heart of everything they do – the experience they try to give them. I’m sure that other clubs have their stories of how they’ve helped their communities.

“It’s challenging. When teams can go out and spend the money they can, it’s inevitable that the levels between clubs will grow further apart.”

Leicester sit in 13th place in the Premier League table, and will look to build on their impressive recent form following a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa and 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham. United, meanwhile, are still dreaming of a title challenge, and will hope to keep pace with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top. 

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